Thursday, February 25, 2010

183. United States Presidents and China

In the following I will introduce you some interesting facts related to United States Presidents and China:

01. The first US president who supported US China Trade, George Washington (1732-1799)
02. The first US President who studied Chinese Classics,--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
03. The first US President who visited China, Ulysses Grant (1822-1885). He met Li Hongzhang (1823-1901), at Tianjin in 1879.
04. The first US president who spoke Chinese, Herbert Hoover (1874-1964). There are many stories about Hoover in China. Here is one of them.
05. The first US president who fought side by side with China, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
06. The first US president who fought against China, Harry Truman (1884-1972)
07. The first US sitting president who visited China, Richard Nixon (1913-1994)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

182. Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy

In its famous E-Magazine, the World Huran Federation based in Australia published in February 2010 Dr. Wang's Article, Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy. In the following please enjoy his article:

Since January 2006, Benjamin Franklin’s 300th anniversary, Dr. Dave Wang has been moving around to various places from North America, Europe to Asia to talk about Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to use the positive elements from Chinese civilization in his effort to help build a new society in North America during the formative age of the United States. In October 2006 he talked about Benjamin Franklin’s using Confucius moral philosophy to cultivate his virtue in Rome, Italy. Dr. Wang wrote a summary of his talk and had it published in the title of “Exploring Benjamin Franklin’s Moral Life” in Franklin Gazette (Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2007). Not long ago Ms. Carol Smith, his editor, transferred the letter from Dr. Mark Skousen, the author of recently published The Completed Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin and the eighth generation of Benjamin Franklin’s descendants. In the letter Dr. Skousen raised a question to Dr. Wang. Since his question might reflect other audience’s or readers’ thinking of my argument of Franklin’s using Confucius moral philosophy to cultivate his virtue, I will quote it in the following:

Dear Editor,

RE: Dave Wang's article on Franklin and his moral philosopher raises an interesting question: If indeed Franklin was so deeply influenced by Confucius, as Dr. Wang suggests, why then did he leave out any mention of Confucius in his Autobiography, especially in his list of virtues? Virtue #13 states, "Imitate Jesus and Socrates." Confucius is left out.

Thanks, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen

Please read Dr. Wang's article, Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy through this link.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

181. Two Schools on the Relatioins Between the United States and China

Current development of the U.S.-China relations is not in my radar. However, sometimes I feel it is interesting to introduce my readers main academic trends discussed among the experts specializing in the relations.

There are basically two schools represented by Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson, the creator of the word Chimerica. He predicts that the Chimerica is headed for Divorce. According to him, "the frictions are building and will lead to divorce, conflict and potential catastrophe. (David Brooks, New York Times July 3, 2009)

In the eyes of James Fallows of The Atlantic , Ferguson's analysis is "airy-fairy academic theorizing." He agrees that China and the U.S. will dominate the 21st century, but he sees the picture of a more benign cooperation.

Monday, February 8, 2010

180. The Tradition, Reagan and Obama

In Time Magazine, February 8, 2010, I have found this article titled "Learn from the Gipper: To Get back on track, Barack Obama should borrow from the playbook of Ronald Regan by Mark Halperin.

The author pointed out correctly, "Like Reagan, Obama has a respect for the broad sweep of American history." This is particularly true. Both presidents valued and inherited the good tradition of drawing nourishment from Chinese civilization started by the founding fathers of this great nation. Ronald Reagan in his 1988 State of the Union Address, quoted Laozi’s advice. In his speech on July 29, 2009 President Barack Obama cited Mencius, one of the main contributors to Confucianism.
I should add something here, otherwise, some might think that I am making a mountain out a molehill. What does it mean for us?

It tells us at least the following two things; first of all, Chinese Civilization, like West Civilization, as recorded human experience, belongs to the whole world. Secondly, to learn from Chinese civilization won't belittle a person who grows up in West Civilization, but enlarge him and glorify him. They haven't turned into Chinese yet. They remain Americans, however, they are not narrow-minded ones but the ones with wisdom of learning from others and the ones who have inherited the tradition of the founding fathers. In this point, we have enough reason to believe that the United States will continue to be a great power in the world and continue to be a lantern on the hill, showing a justified direction that other countries should follow. We know this from the presidents' respect for the tradition of the founding fathers.

Monday, February 1, 2010

179. American and Chinese Leaders on the Empress of China

President Barack Obama stated, "It was just a year after the end of our Revolution, when our nation was not much more than a set of ports and cities along the Atlantic, that an American ship named the Empress of China first sailed into Canton, looking to begin the first direct trade with China."

President Ronald Reagan pointed out, "Back in 1784, when the first American trading ship, the Empress of China, entered your waters, my country was unknown to you. We were a new republic eager to win a place in international commerce."

Chinese President Hu Jintao stated that "The Chinese people have always cherished goodwill towards the American people. In 1784, US merchant ship "Empress of China" sailed to China, opening the friendly exchanges between our two peoples."

I have found that this speech made by American Counsel-General in Mauca is interesting, therefore I present it to you below:

"Just a few months after the Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution in 1784, a three-masted, American sailing ship, newly named the Empress of China, with a crew of 34, set out from New York for Macau. The expedition was financed by a well-known American patriot, Robert Morris, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Morris's objective was to directly purchase Chinese tea, much in demand in our young nation. The Empress arrived at Macau in August 1784 with a cargo of 30 tons of wild New England ginseng root which it traded at Chinese ports for tea, cotton cloth, silk, tableware and spice. The venture was a success, and soon led to a flourishing trade after the Empress returned to New York in May 1785." You can enjoy the story how the ginseng root helped the opening of the relations between China and the Uniated States through my paper, Gingseng, the herb that Helped the United States to Enter International Commerce.

Finally, you could enjoy my paper, With China We Trade, and learn how George Washington promoted the Empress of China.